This weekend, Wonder Woman opened to over $100 million at the box office, becoming an instant success for Warner Bros.
While Gal Gadot first played Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman was the first time that the character was given her own live-action feature film.
Wonder Woman’s record-breaking opening weekend had us considering other superhero movie big screen debuts. We’re talking specifically about the first solo, not team or group, movies to be headlined by a character who had never appeared on the big-screen before.
Here are the top five superhero solo debut openings of all time, ranked by their domestic box office opening weekend totals.
Opened: Nov. 4, 2016
Opening Weekend Total: $85 million
Doctor Strange is Marvel Studios' most recent solo debut for a character. In addition to introducing Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Stephen Strange, Doctor Strange was the first Marvel Studios film to deal with magic and with the Marvel multiverse.
Doctor Strange was directed by Scott Derrickson, who co-wrote the film with Jon Spaihts and C. Robert Cargill, and stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Mads Mikkelsen, and Tilda Swinton.
In Doctor Strange, Dr. Stephen Strange's life changes after a car accident
Release: May 2, 2008
Opening Weekend Total: $98 Million
Iron Man wasn't just the first time Robert Downey Jr. played the now iconic role of Tony Stark, but it was also the very beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Nearly ten years later, that franchise has earned over $10 billion worldwide.
Iron Man was directed by Jon Favreau from a screenplay by Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway. Iron Man stars Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Shaun Toub and Gwyneth Paltrow.
In Iron Man, a billionaire industrialist and genius inventor, Tony Stark, is conducting weapons tests overseas, but terrorists kidnap him to force him to build a devastating weapon. Instead, he builds an armored suit and upends his captors. Returning to America, Stark refines the suit and uses it to combat crime and terrorism.
Release: June 2, 2017
Opening Weekend Total: $100-103 million
Wonder Woman is the newest addition to this top five, the only female-led movie on the list, and the only DC Comics movie on the list. The film has broken records for an opening for a film with a female director, Patty Jenkins, and many hope it is blazing a path for future superheroines both in front of and behind the camera.
In Wonder Woman, before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, Princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, Diana meets an American pilot (Chris Pine) who tells her about the massive conflict that's raging in the outside world. Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home for the first time. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny.
Wonder Woman is directed by Patty Jenkins, from a screenplay by Allan Heinberg & Geoff Johns, story by Heinberg & Zack Snyder and Jason Fuchs, and stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, Elena Anaya, Lucy Davis, Saïd Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner and David Thewlis.
Release: May 3, 2002
Opening Weekend Total: $114.8 million
Spider-Man may be on his third movie reboot, but his original cinematic outing remains one of the biggest superhero movie debuts of all time. Fans may have fallen out of love with this version of Spider-Man by the time the third film arrived, but they were infatuated when the series began.
Spider-Man was directed by Sam Raimi and starred Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker, Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson, Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn/Green Goblin, Rosemary Harris and Cliff Robertson as Aunt May and Uncle Ben, and James Franco as Harry Osborn.
Spider-Man centers on student Peter Parker who, after being bitten by a genetically-altered spider, gains superhuman strength and the spider-like ability to cling to any surface. He vows to use his abilities to fight crime, coming to understand the words of his beloved Uncle Ben: "With great power comes great responsibility."
Release: Feb. 12, 2016
Opening Weekend Total: $132.4 million
Despite being R-rated, Deadpool is still the biggest superhero debut of all time. It is also unique among the films on this list in that star Ryan Reynolds played a different version of the same characters in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Few would have thought after seeing that movie, including those at 20th Century Fox, that Deadpool would occupy the top spot on this list.
Deadpool was directed by Tim Miller and written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. In addition to Reynolds, the cast includes Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T. J. Miller, Gina Carano, Leslie Uggams, Brianna Hildebrand, and Stefan Kapičić.
Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a former Special Forces operative who now works as a mercenary. His world comes crashing down when evil scientist Ajax (Ed Skrein) tortures, disfigures and transforms him into Deadpool. The rogue experiment leaves Deadpool with accelerated healing powers and a twisted sense of humor. With help from mutant allies Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), Deadpool uses his new skills to hunt down the man who nearly destroyed his life.
Wonder Woman currently has an 88.49 ComicBook.com Composite Score. It also has a 4.42 out of 5 ComicBook.com user rating, making it the third-highest rated comic book movie ever among ComicBook.com readers. Let us know what you thought of Wonder Woman by giving the movie your own ComicBook.com User Rating below.
Wonder Woman in now playing in theaters.